[in-uh-suh ns]
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  1. the quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
  2. freedom from legal or specific wrong; guiltlessness: The prisoner proved his innocence.
  3. simplicity; absence of guile or cunning; naiveté.
  4. lack of knowledge or understanding.
  5. harmlessness; innocuousness.
  6. chastity.
  7. an innocent person or thing.
  8. bluet(def 1).
  9. blue-eyed Mary.

Origin of innocence

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English word from Latin word innocentia. See innocent, -ence
Related formssu·per·in·no·cence, noun
Can be confusedinnocence innocents Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for innocence

Contemporary Examples of innocence

Historical Examples of innocence

  • Is there any other wisdom, than true simplicity and innocence?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • I think this blessing comes from the Divine, by reason of the innocence of his life.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • Listen to the voice that tries to win you back to innocence and truth!


    Lydia Maria Child

  • He wished to be dressed completely in white, as a symbol of his innocence.

  • It is natural to goodness and innocence, but not the less is the error a disastrous one.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

British Dictionary definitions for innocence


  1. the quality or state of being innocentArchaic word: innocency (ˈɪnəsənsɪ)

Word Origin for innocence

C14: from Latin innocentia harmlessness, from innocēns doing no harm, blameless, from in- 1 + nocēns harming, from nocēre to hurt, harm; see noxious
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for innocence

mid-14c., "freedom from guilt," from Old French inocence "innocence, purity, chastity" (12c.), from Latin innocentia, from innocens "harmless, blameless" (see innocent). Meaning "lacking in guile or artifice" is from late 14c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper